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Planned Parenthood says unprotected sex plentiful at country jamboree

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REGINA - Planned Parenthood Regina is girding itself for an onslaught of customers after this weekend's Craven Country Jamboree.

Executive director Christine Smith says the number of patients the clinic sees usually goes up about 20 per cent after the festival.

Most are searching for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection tests, but some also come in looking for emergency contraceptives.

Smith says there's a lot of unprotected sex at the jamboree, where people let their guard down because of the party atmosphere.

But on a serious note, Smith says jamboree organizers aren't doing enough to promote sexual health at the festival.

She says there is a stereotype that country music is for "good, clean folks" while rock and roll is more for "the bad ones."

But any large gathering of people is likely to have its problems, especially if people are using drugs or alcohol, says Smith.

“We have had people come in after the event and say they were date raped, or believe they were date raped because sometimes they can’t tell at all because they were passed out,” she said.

“I don’t know if it’s sometimes denial, that (jamboree organizers) don’t want to acknowledge that there is such a high level of sexual activity at the event because that could give them bad press.

“But you can only hide your head in the sand for so long, so why not do something about it?”

At least one sexual health nurse from Planned Parenthood will be at the jamboree, handing out free condoms and giving counselling to anyone concerned about their sexual health.

Smith said festival-goers should bring condoms and cautioned people to watch their drinks closely as drugs can easily be slipped into opened beverages.

About 23,500 people are expected to attend the three-day event, headlined by Tim McGraw, the Dixie Chicks and Kenny Chesney.

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